SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – It may have been a “glorified practice.” It may have just been 7-on-7. However, it was a morning to appreciate after not being able to do so last summer.
“It just felt strange last summer,” said North Caddo Head Football Coach Johnny Kavanaugh. “You didn’t know what was going to happen. You didn’t know if we would have a season, what kind of season we would have. It feels nice to not be worrying about that kind of stuff and just be worrying about football and working with our young men and getting better.”
While both coaches like to have this 7-on-7 game before each season, this year’s meeting held a little more importance.
“It means the world to me because last year everything was up in the air,” said Lions’ Head Coach Tony Reliford. “We started. We stopped. We started again. Then once we started, the season was postponed before we knew it. It was difficult. We’re just glad to be back and working for the summer.”
Working for the summer is exactly what Coach Johnny Kavanaugh and the Titans have been doing. After classes ended, North Caddo football was on the field practicing the very next day.
“We’ve gone eight weeks straight,” said Kavanaugh. “Getting bigger, faster and stronger. It feels like some sense or normalcy has returned. It feels good just to compete.”
That chance to compete is not one Coach Reliford takes lightly. He says the uncertainty of last season taught his team to be thankful each and every day they have a chance to play the game they love.
“I tell them all the time, ‘If we have another day, we’re going to come out and work hard and make it better than the day before because it’s a blessing simply to be here.'”
If you were on the sidelines watching, you saw players from two teams working hard and competing. However, you also saw players from two teams smiling and laughing, despite the different names on their jerseys.
“Their guys and our guys get along really well,” said Coach Kavanaugh. “They just have a good bond. They joke around with each other on the sidelines. You don’t see that all the time.”
North Caddo opens up the season at home against Homer, while BTW kicks off the year against Plain Dealing Sept. 3.